How to Tackle Litter Box Problems

How to Tackle Litter Box Problems

Cat keeps kicking litter out of their box and other problems.Cat keeps kicking litter out of their box and other problems.
Cat keeps kicking litter out of their box and other problems.Cat keeps kicking litter out of their box and other problems.

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Is your cat missing or avoiding the litter box? Are you struggling to determine the cause and how to fix it?

It turns out that finding the root of litter box issues can be tricky. If your kitty is unhappy or in physical pain, this will likely be the first indication of a problem.

Common Litter Box Problems (and What to Do About Them)

A happy cat and their clean litter box.

If your kitty stops using the litter box, you’re probably some combination of concerned and frustrated, depending on whether this is a first-time thing or an ongoing problem.

Typical kitty litter box problems include:

  • Choosing a spot right outside the litter box (either the litter box is dirty or your cat is having trouble getting into it)
  • Choosing another spot in your home (like a corner or potted plant)
  • “Spraying” in your home (your cat is marking their territory)

Janet Cutler, Ph.D., is a Certified Cat Behaviorist at Cat World. She says, “If your cat stops using the litter box, it is always important to go see your veterinarian to make sure that there aren’t any medical problems first. Once that is ruled out, you can start looking to see if there is a behavioral reason.”

After you’ve ruled out urinary tract infections, kidney problems, and any other medical concerns, you can think through your home routines and any recent changes.

Some common behavioral reasons cats choose bathroom spots outside of the kitty litter box include:

Litter Box Was Moved

Cats aren’t big on change. My cat once ran to where the litter box had been, dropped to the floor, looked around in panic, and started yowling all because I’d moved the box to the other side of the doorway. Even though it was only inches away, he didn’t notice it. Fortunately, I could nudge it his way with my foot and solve the problem.

Changed Litter Type or Got a New Box

You know some cats can be finicky. Some won’t care if you set up a new kitty litter box with a new cat litter, and others will deem it unacceptable.

For example, if you switch a plain litter box for one with a hood, some cats won’t like the hood because they feel confined. Others only want a hood because they feel protected, and others don’t like a change in litter at all.

For such finicky felines, veterinarians recommend mixing a small amount of the new cat litter with the old for a few days, so your cat gets used to the new look, smell, and feel. This way, you ease your kitty into the change. If you’re getting a new cat litter box, don’t swap it out for the old one right away, but let your kitty get used to it by putting it near the old one.

Litter Box Is Dirty

Again, cats have different standards, and some won’t use a litter box if waste is present. Others won’t share a litter box with another cat. Cat experts recommend having a litter box for every kitty in your household plus one.

A disposable litter box and kitty litter subscription from Kitty Poo Club can ensure you’re always set up with a fresh litter box option for your floof. And of course, you always want to make sure it’s clean.

Litter Box Is Too Small

Kitty Poo Club’s roomier XL Litter Box.

Do you have a bigger kitty? Can they turn around comfortably within the litter box? If not, then size up to accommodate your furry friend. It might even be worth upgrading to an XL Litter Box for maximum space, cleanliness, and comfort.

Cat Is Stressed

Have there been changes to your routine lately? A move, houseguests, or a new pet can stress your kitty, and they may share their agitated state of mind by skipping the litter box.

How to Get Your Cat Back in the Litter Box

Once you’ve ruled out a medical issue, you’ll know it’s something in the home environment that’s upset your kitty. Think through any changes and determine the simplest solution (such as moving the litter box back to its previous location).

To help soothe your cat, try giving them more attention. Play games daily, cuddle or scratch your kitty behind their ears, and give that litter box a thorough cleaning. Clean your current one with soap and water, and refill it with your kitty’s preferred brand of litter. Trying a disposable litter box subscription from Kitty Poo Club could also help, since it’ll give your furry friend a fresh new box every month.

After all, everyone likes a clean bathroom.

Can Litter Boxes Be Harmful to Humans?

According to Dr. Cutler, “The biggest concern about litter box safety is in pregnant women. Cats can have a parasite called Toxoplasma, which can be found in cat feces and could potentially lead to Toxoplasmosis and infect a fetus.”

Additionally, cat urine is high in ammonia, and breathing ammonia can trigger asthma attacks and respiratory problems. However, such instances are rare and require elevated levels of ammonia. It’s unlikely that a dirty box will be left long enough to lead to ammonia-related issues.

Dr. Cutler says, “Ensuring your cat is up to date on vaccines and any necessary parasite medications will also help to keep you safer.”

Can a Kitty Litter Box Harm Your Cat?

Dr. Cutler says, “In general, litter boxes are relatively safe for cats. There are many different types of boxes and litters on the market, so doing a bit of research on the type you’d like to use can be helpful (you want to test to make sure your cat will use it as well).”

Choosing the Best Cat Litter and Litter Box for Your Kitty

You have plenty of options, including choosing a disposable cat litter box and kitty litter subscription from Kitty Poo Club. When you sign up for home delivery, your best kitty litter choice shows up on your doorstep every month. There’s no need to drive to the store and lug it home.

For a happy cat, you can choose from clumping litter such as Clay or Organic Soy, or non-clumping litter, such as Silica, Fine-Grain Silica, or Diatomite… whichever suits your finicky kitty best.

Now that you know about common kitty litter box problems, you can tackle your litter box problems with confidence and ensure a happy cat.

Visit Kitty Poo Club to learn more about monthly litter box delivery for your cat!

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